Summer always seems like the one season we ALL look forward to year round… so MAKE THE MOST of yours this year. Here are my top 3 fitness guaranteed to give you a healthy and FUN summer.
1- CHANGE YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SUMMER!
Most of us have spent the winter inside the gym working out and doing cardio on machines. The sun is out now, so get your butts out of the gym and workout outside some. If during the winter your schedule was 4 days a week of isolating muscle groups and lifting weights at the gym and indoor cardio 2-3 times a week, then try 3 months of swapping that ratio. For summer I recommend the following workout schedule each week:
– 2-3 days a week of full body strength workouts in the gym
– 2 days a week of outdoor cardiovascular workouts (swimming, biking, jogging/running, inline skating)
– 1-2 days a week of leisure outdoor fun activities (anything from weekend volleyball games with friends, to walks/hikes with a friend, to performing your own private yoga class in a quiet area of your local park, kayaking a local lake or river, a nice evening walk after dinner, hitting some golf balls on the driving range)
2- PLAN AT LEAST ONE SUMMER TRIP/VACATION THAT CENTERS AROUND FITNESS AND HEALTH
I always laugh when I have people tell me they never workout while they are on vacation because they are ‘on vacation’! This comment always says A LOT about the individual and how they view working out, fitness and health. (See my dot429 article on The Power of Mental Focus in Your Fitness.)The funny thing about that comment is that vacation is always my FAVORITE time to workout because there is no rush and my mind is clear to really focus on enjoying my time for myself and taking care of my body. So this summer change that mindset and chose at least one small trip or weekend that is focused on health, wellness and/or fitness. For guys there are some amazing weekend hiking trips through the company Backcountry Found (www.backcountryfound.com). Owner Eden Slezin is a great friend of mine and an incredible guide.
For women I recommend checking out Abroad for Adventure (www.abroadforadventure.com). Although I have never personally done one of their vacations, I have heard great things about them. And for those of you who have fully booked the summer and cannot afford another trip, then it is time for a FITNESS STAY-CATION! Set aside a weekend just for you and friends to stay home and do some incredible fitness adventures and eat some incredibly healthy food at home. I recommend hiring a local personal trainer in your area to help you design some creative outdoor style workouts (yoga, boot camp, etc). And maybe even a local, organic personal chef to teach you some insight into creative and healthy cooking ideas. And ending the weekend with a GREAT relaxing spa experience couldn’t hurt either!
3- TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGGIES OF SUMMER
Our bodies have learned over hundreds of years to need different nutrients each season based on what foods were originally available to our ancestors each season. Follow this tradition by taking full advantage of the crops that are in season in your area. Take a weekend morning to walk or bike (or drive if you must) to a local organic farmer’s market and pick the freshest produce they have for that day. Strike up conversations with the farmers asking them what they recommend is at the peak of ripeness! I also recommend speaking to each of the farmer’s about their farming practices to find out as much as you can about the pesticides they use, the crop rotation they practice and the distance they must bring their produce to market. For those of your fortunate enough, take a trip directly out to local farms and hand pick the produce yourself! It is amazing the pride you take in food where you have actually seen the source of the food and taken part in the process. And with that idea in mind… why not PLANT YOUR OWN? It is getting late in the season in some areas, but go to your local nursery and ask them what produce would still be in season for planting and set up your own garden in your backyard. Food has never tasted better than the food you grow yourself.